MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

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MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby Fan Railer » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:13 pm

I was surprised I didn't catch this edit to the wiki article sooner, but is there verification for this information? It is unsourced on the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPI_MPXpress
"In 2012 Metra announced plans to convert 12 of their MP36PH-3S locomotives to the MP36PH-3C standard in an effort to boost fuel efficiency."
Last edited by Fan Railer on Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby Tadman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:52 pm

I'm a bit hesitant to believe that article. It clearly states that the 3S has a 645 (which is well known) but then states that the 3C has the same prime move, and I think that is not true. The 3C has the 710. The 3S only exists due to Metra's desire to have a 645, to be compatible with the rest of their fleet, which is 645-powered. I don't know the truth of the plans to convert the HEP to pony motor in some MP's (other feature of 3C), but I doubt they change the prime mover to 710.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby chrisf » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:34 pm

Tadman wrote: The 3C has the 710.


The MP36 (all of them) have 645s. The MP40 was the 710 powered model.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby c604. » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:57 pm

The request for proposals/bidders for this project went out last month. The plan is to convert 17 of the 400's to separate HEP engines, no change to the 645's. There was mention of this in one of the board meetings a few months ago, the main reason for doing this is fuel and noise reduction.

The ironic thing is that MBTA (Boston) and Metrolink (L.A.) are longtime users of separate HEP engines and are now going to static inverter HEP for their next round of locomotives. The difference is that MBTA's will have GEVO engines and Metrolink's will have CAT engines so they (hopefully) won't vibrate and rattle themselves apart the same way the 400's do :-)
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby Tadman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:13 am

It's amazing the sound that the 400's put out at HEP-idle. If you hang out at the Clinton crossing north of CUS, they throttle down for the curve at Canal and usually cost under the CNW. At that point the engine is running HEP-idle (not sure what notch that is) and it's at a harmonic frequency that rattles the ground.

I always liked the 400's because they used static inverter, which in my book is way smarter than a screamer running HEP directly off the crankshaft. It cuts down a lot of noise in CUS, which is still quiet a noisy place even with half the power running static inverter HEP.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby Fan Railer » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:29 pm

c604. wrote:The request for proposals/bidders for this project went out last month. The plan is to convert 17 of the 400's to separate HEP engines, no change to the 645's. There was mention of this in one of the board meetings a few months ago, the main reason for doing this is fuel and noise reduction.

The ironic thing is that MBTA (Boston) and Metrolink (L.A.) are longtime users of separate HEP engines and are now going to static inverter HEP for their next round of locomotives. The difference is that MBTA's will have GEVO engines and Metrolink's will have CAT engines so they (hopefully) won't vibrate and rattle themselves apart the same way the 400's do :-)

Took a little bit of digging, but I found the article.
http://metrarail.com/content/dam/metra/ ... -16-12.pdf
PE 4602 HOTEl POWER MODIFICATION, MET
This project will modify five locomotives by replacing the main engine driven generator -
inverter combination that provides hotel power for the train consist with a separate
engine/generator set for hotel power on five of Metra's Model MP36 passenger locomotives
currently assigned to BNSF service. During normal operation there are periods when the
locomotives must provide hotel power to a train consist without carrying passengers, such as
when a train is standing in a yard. To do this, the engine is running, not just idling. With an
engine/generator set, the main engine speed can be set to idle instead, thus saving fuel and
reducing exhaust emissions.

PE 4711 HOTEl POWER MODIFICATION (12 MPILOCO), MET
This project will modify twelve locomotives by replacing the main engine driven generator -
inverter combination that provides hotel power for the train consist with a separate
engine/generator set for hotel power on twelve of Metra's Model MP36 passenger locomotives
currently assigned to service on the RID and MWD railroad lines. This will save fuel and reduce
emissions


Curious, but why is it necessary to issue two different rfp's on what is basically the same project? The only logical explanation I can come up with is that they want to test out two different manufacturers, namely, Cummins and Caterpillar.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:59 pm

MPI uses Cat powered HEP plants in the MP-36's,there will be little change of apperance.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby c604. » Tue May 20, 2014 12:47 pm

Some additional details concerning the MP36 HEP conversion:

Based on qualified bidders, MPI was recommended to be the firm doing/providing training for the work. The contract is for 31 HEP gensets (4 spares?).

The pilot installation will be done by MPI folks. The rest will be done by Metra after training is provided.

It sounds like only HEP related changes will be done.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby Fan Railer » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:19 pm

Any timeline on this project? Have any units been converted yet?
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby JamesT4 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:14 am

Look out for 417, that has been converted back in July and was doing test runs on the Rock Island for the past couple of weeks according to one of the Metra Engineers I know, and photos he took of it. Suppose to be sent back to run on the MD/NCS pool any day now.

I should had started this earlier, but Real Life got in the way too much.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby TrainManUPRR » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:36 pm

417 was delivered to the MILW today.

The -3Cs have an 831 horsepower twin turbo Cat C18 mated to a 600kW HEP alternator.

401 will be the next -3C. It's currently in the Rocket House and is over halfway done. Just as information- 401 was completely repainted. It looks exactly the same as always- they did put new Ollie lettering on the nose, too.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby F40CFan » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:34 pm

I rode behind 417 on train 2227 last night (9/8/2015). I sat in the front half of the first car so I could listen. The HEP engine noise was constant, even when we were connected to CUS for power. I listened closely during the cut-over and didn't hear any difference. One major thing I did notice was the lack of the tooth-rattling booming that they normally put out when idling with the HEP on. When I got off at my stop, I walked forward to stand by the locomotive. The extra stack for the HEP is at the back on the engineer's side next to whatever passes for a mars light back there. I listened to the train depart and it was different to hear the prime mover cycle up from idle. You would think that after a rebuild, they would at least have repainted it. It had rust spots and pealing paint.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby c604. » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:08 am

The hep engine has a manual breaker that determines if power is applied to the train. So the hep engine can run at full rpm and not supply any power. Other cities' versions also have an idle switch where the hep engine can be set to half rpm speed and just power its own radiator fan and not supply power to the train. I would think that the Metra units will have that as well but Im sure trainman can fill in more details.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby TrainManUPRR » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:56 am

The -3C conversion is being done seperately from the rebuild program. 417 only had the HEP conversion performed. It was NOT rebuilt. 417's prime mover is still the same one it's always had. The MP36 rebuild program hasn't started yet. It will begin in December. The -3C conversion came out of some clean air grant. The rebuild is a seperate captial project. Government rules dictate that the seperately funded programs can't be done at the same time. Yes, it's insanely dumb and inefficient. But that's how the government works! That's not Metra's fault. I would imgaine thay once the MP36 rebuild programs start each one will be run through both programs before getting released for service.

The new HEP system works exactly as c604 described. There are 2 Idle/Run switches, 2 Train HEP On and Off buttons, and 2 HEP engine shutdown buttons, found in 2 seperate HEP control panels. One control panel is in the cab above the control stand, and the other is in the back of the engine in the HEP engine room. In "HEP Idle" enough power is produced to run the HEP cooling fan. The Cat idles at 900rpm in idle. When both switches are set to "Run", the Cat runs at 1800rpm. In Run it produces enough power to run the locomotive HVAC, but no power is supplied to the train until you press the "Train HEP On" button which closes the HEP contactor and supplies HEP to the entire train. If you press "Train HEP Off" the HEP contactor will open, shutting off HEP to the train, but the Cat will keep running at full speed (and provide HVAC to the locomotive) unless you put the HEP engine to Idle or shut it down. You can't hear the Cat running from inside the cab whatsoever- even when it's at full speed.
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Re: MP36PH-3S Conversion to -3C?

Postby TrainManUPRR » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:01 pm

As a side note, 423 was just transferred to 47th Street yesterday. It will be the next -3C. 401 is still at 47th, too. I don't know how far along its conversion is. They borrowed a lot of parts off 401 for other units while it was in storage so it will take longer to put it back in service than the units that are operational.
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